The COVID-19 crisis has put thousands of Americans out of work. However, there is the possibility of receiving help through the unemployment insurance. Find out what the requirements are for unemployment insurance and how to claim it.
The consequences of the new pandemic declared by the WHO (known as COVID-19 or, popularly, Coronavirus) are devastating and not only in terms of health. Many people in the United States have been thrown out of work, reaching a record never before seen in the applications for federal and state unemployment benefits.
If, unfortunately, you are part of that large group of people who have lost their jobs, you may be wondering “Can I receive unemployment insurance before a dismissal?”. The answer is a resounding “yes”, at least as long as you have lost your employment income through no fault of your own.
What is unemployment insurance in the United States?
Under applicable laws in the United States, a person who is laid off from his or her job may apply for unemployment insurance provided you meet the eligibility conditions which we will see next. Depending on the state in which you live, the benefits and requirements to obtain it will vary. For example, Florida residents are entitled to a weekly contribution of up to $275 for a maximum period of 12 weeks.
Keep reading: How to apply for unemployment in California
The creation of this benefit for workers responds to the need to temporarily help those employees who have lost their jobsthat is, give them an amount of money that is large enough to cover their basic needs: housing, utilities and food. However, the new stimulus package approved by the federal government slightly changes the eligibility conditions, thus making the program more flexible.
To find out the requirements for unemployment insurancewe recommend you check the official website of the state unemployment agency in your area.
Can I collect the insurance if I quit?
No. Unemployment benefits are reserved only for people who have lost their job through no fault of their own. If an employee is fired for not fulfilling his obligations, for example, he is not eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
Some of the excluded reasons for claiming unemployment insurance also include:
- Low job performance.
- Violate company policies.
- Engage in workplace harassment behaviors.
- Recurring delay or breach of schedule.
- Having inappropriate behavior towards co-workers.
Depending on the case, the dismissal of an employee for not having the necessary skills to fulfill their job duties could be excluded from this list.. For example, a citizen can request unemployment insurance if the dismissal originates because the company needs a specialized person and the worker has not shown his interest or ability to acquire the new skills necessary to meet the requirements of his employer.
This scenario assumes there was a lack of communication between employee and employer or that the employer hired the worker without realizing that his resume did not meet the requirements of the position. Therefore, it is not the fault of the dismissed worker.
How does unemployment insurance work in the United States?
Let’s see two practical examples to understand how unemployment insurance works in the USA:
- Mary has been working for the last six months as an account executive at a bank in New York. However, and for no apparent reason, she begins to be late for her job. After the first three absences, her immediate boss sends her a written warning, but Mary is again late without warning and without just cause. As she ignored her boss’s warnings, he summons her to her office and informs her that her services will no longer be needed at the bank. In this case, Mary may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
- Joseph was recently hired as a technical assistant at an IT services company. After five weeks on the job, his supervisor begins asking him to perform tasks that are outside of his job description. Unfortunately, Joseph does not have the technical skills to successfully complete each order. The company also does not offer you additional training and there is no one who has been designated to train you. Therefore, Joseph begins to get things wrong and behind schedule on projects. After some mistakes and missed deadlines, Joseph’s supervisor informs him that he has been fired. In this case, Joseph may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Keep reading: How to apply for unemployment in Texas
Recommendation: Check your state’s unemployment insurance eligibility requirements to determine if you can qualify or not for unemployment insurance. You can do it through the website or through a phone call.
How much is unemployment insurance in the United States?
As with the requirements, the economic benefits that you could receive when claiming unemployment insurance in the USA It will depend on the state you live in. and the amount of money the federal government collects through the payroll tax.
For example, in Alabama the maximum weekly amount is set at about $275, while in Connecticut it can be as high as $724. The states that deliver the most cash as unemployment benefits are Massachusetts ($1,220), Ohio ($802) and Washington ($790); and within the list of the lowest payers are Mississippi ($235), Florida ($275) and Louisiana ($247).
To learn more about unemployment insurance benefits, do not hesitate to visit the section for workers of usa.gov.